How To Apply Primer, Foundation And Concealer

Are you having trouble applying your primer, foundation, and concealer like a pro?

If so, don’t worry – you’re not alone!

In this blog post, we will discuss the best way to apply primer, foundation, and concealer.

By following these simple steps, you’ll be able to achieve a flawless complexion in no time!

how to apply primer foundation and concealer step by step

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How To Apply Primer?

nyx primer

Before starting with primer, it’s essential to prep your skin with a good moisturizer.

A lightweight moisturizer, like this ultra repair cream, will help create a smooth makeup canvas and ensure that your primer goes on evenly.

Choose the formula that suits your skin type.

For example, opt for an oil-free moisturizer if you have oily skin.

For dry skin, look for a hydrating moisturizer with glycerin to help lock in moisture.

TIP: Choose a lightweight moisturizer that applies well under makeup. Avoid using a thick moisturizer as it might cause your foundation to look flaky.

Once your moisturizer has had time to sink in, you can then go ahead and apply your primer.

Primers help to create a smooth canvas for your foundation and concealer, and they also help to prolong the wear of your makeup.

When choosing a primer, it’s essential to pick one suitable for your skin type.

For example, if you have oily skin, you’ll want to choose a mattifying primer to help control shine and oil production.

On the other hand, if you have dry skin, you’ll want to choose a hydrating primer that will help lock in moisture.

Mattifying and smoothing primers are usually silicone-based. These primers are best applied with your fingers.

To do so, take a pea-sized amount of primer, rub it between your hands, and tap it onto your skin.

Focus on your problem areas, such as your T-zone (forehead, nose, and chin) and the areas where you have big pores.

TIP: Avoid rubbing silicone-based primers to prevent getting an uneven application.

@claire_ch1 How To Apply primer before foundation? This tip works for smoothing primers that help to blur pores and smooth texture. #applyprimer #primerbeforemakeup #makeuptips #makeuphacks ♬ MEAN! – Madeline The Person

Hydrating primers, on the other hand, tend to be water-based, so you can apply them to the skin by using gentle circular motions.

Be sure to focus on the areas of your face that are prone to dryness, such as your cheeks and mouth.

Let your primer set for a minute before moving on to the foundation. When applied incorrectly, primer can cause your makeup to look worse.

For example, if you apply foundation immediately without letting the primer set, you might have a streaky and uneven application.

Another common mistake is not matching the primer to your foundation.

For example, if you’re using a silicone-based foundation, you’ll want to use a silicone-based primer.

The same goes for water-based foundations – you’ll want to use a water-based primer.

 When Should You Use A Primer?

nyx pore filler primer

Primers are typically used after sunscreen and before foundation to help create a smooth canvas.

However, applying a primer may not always be necessary.

If you have good skin and your foundation goes smoothly without any primer, you may not need a primer.

Also, primers are not necessary for an everyday makeup look.

You can save them for special occasions when you want your makeup to last all day or night.

People with oily skin may find that a primer helps to control shine and oil production throughout the day.

If your foundation settles into your pores, a primer can also help to smooth out the texture of your skin.

Dry skin types may find using a hydrating primer can help to lock in moisture and prevent your foundation from looking cakey.

You can also layer face primers to target specific concerns.

However, a primer doesn’t replace the need for a good skincare routine.

No matter your skin type, it’s essential to cleanse and moisturize your face so that your makeup goes smoothly and evenly.

For eyeshadow, you can use an eye primer. Avoid applying face primer on your eyes, as it might cause your eyeshadow to crease.

Best Hydrating And Smoothing Primers

Some primers contain hydrating ingredients, which can be a great option for dry skin.

These primers can’t replace moisturizers, but they have ingredients like hyaluronic acid and glycerin, which helps to prevent your foundation from looking cakey.

These are some of the best hydrating and smoothing primers:

Benefit Cosmetics The POREfessional Hydrating Primer

benefit hydrating primer

This primer contains hyaluronic acid and shea butter extract, which helps to hydrate the skin.

It has a lightweight formula that blends easily without leaving a greasy residue.

It helps to smooth the skin, but a little bit goes a long way with this primer, so start with a pea-sized amount and build up if necessary.

Applying too much can cause your foundation to separate on top.


  • It contains hydrating ingredients like hyaluronic acid and shea butter extract.
  • Lightweight formula
  • Blends easily into the skin


  • Too much can cause your foundation to separate.

NYX Bright Maker Primer

nyx bright maker primer

This primer has a light peach tint that helps to brighten the complexion.

It contains glycerin to help give the skin a radiant look.

It has a lightweight formula that blends easily and doesn’t settle into fine lines or wrinkles.

This primer is one of the best affordable options on the market.


  • Affordable
  • Lightweight formula


  • None

Smashbox Photo Finish Smooth & Blur Oil-Free Foundation Primer

Smashbox The Original Photo Finish Smooth & Blur Primer

If you have oily skin, this primer is a great option.

It’s oil-free and contains silica, which helps to control shine and absorb excess oil.

It has a clear gel formula that blends easily into the skin without leaving any greasy residue.

A little bit goes a long way, so you only need a small amount to cover your problem areas.


  • Controls shine and oil production
  • Absorbs excess oil
  • Blends easily into the skin


  • None

TIP: If you have dry skin, use a lightweight face oil as a primer.

For more suggestions, check this list of the best face primers for over 40.

the best way to apply primer foundation and concealer

How To Apply Foundation?


After your primer has been set, it’s time to apply your foundation.

The foundation comes in many formulas, so choosing one that works well with your skin type is essential.

You may want to use a matte foundation to help control shine if you have oily skin.

If you have dry skin, you may want to use a hydrating foundation to prevent your makeup from looking dry and cakey.

To get a natural and flawless finish, I like to follow these steps:

  • I apply one or two dots of foundation on the back of my hand.
  • Using my fingers, I gently swirl the product.
  • I dip my brush or sponge lightly into the foundation and start by applying it to my face.
  • I begin by covering the problem areas that need more coverage.
@claire_ch1 How To Apply Foundation And Get A Natural Finish? This trick helps to give the skin a non-cakey look. #makeuphacks #makeuptips #foundationhack #foundationroutine ♬ original sound – Claire Chalouhi

Using a kabuki brush, you can blend the foundation using circular motions. Kabuki brushes give the skin flawless coverage but can leave some streaks, so blend well.

If you’re using a makeup sponge, bounce it gently into the skin using light stippling motions.

If you’re using a flat brush, you can drag the product into the skin. Flat brushes give more coverage but might give a cakey finish if you’re not careful.

No matter what foundation you use, starting with a small amount is essential to avoid a cakey finish.

You can always layer the foundation if you need more coverage.

Concealer Or Foundation First?

foundation or concealer first

You can use concealers to hide under-eye dark circles and face blemishes.

If you want to hide face discoloration or blemishes, apply concealer after foundation for more coverage.

First, apply your desired foundation or BB cream all over, and then go in with a concealer if you need more coverage.

The main reason applying concealer after foundation works the best is because blending foundation on top of concealer can cause the concealer to move around and crease.

If you want to use concealer to brighten your under-eye area, you can apply it before or after the foundation.

Should Foundation Be Applied Under The Eyes?

Should Foundation Be Applied Under The Eyes

Some foundations have a lightweight formula that you can use under the eyes without looking heavy or cakey.

However, it’s best to avoid applying a thick foundation under the eyes if you have dry skin because it can accentuate dryness and fine lines.

Choose a lightweight concealer or a hydrating foundation that won’t crease or cake up.

This foundation, for example, is formulated to conceal under-eye circles and cover skin imperfections. It gives the skin a medium coverage, and I’ve found that it works well under the eyes if you have normal to oily skin.

It might settle into fine lines, so use a small amount and hydrate the under-eye area before application.

How To Apply Concealer?

How To Apply Concealer

You can use concealer to cover under-eye circles, blemishes, and other skin imperfections.

It usually comes in a thicker consistency than foundation, so it can be used to build up coverage in problem areas.

The first step is moisturizing the under-eye area, especially if you have dry skin.

Concealers can look cakey when applied to dry skin, so it’s essential to use a lightweight hydrating under-eye cream before concealer.

Choose a concealer that’s one shade lighter than your skin tone. Avoid going too light, as this will make the under-eye area look ashy.

To apply concealer under the eyes, dot it on the areas you want to cover.

Let the concealer sit for a couple of minutes before blending. This will allow the product to set and gives you more coverage.

Then, blend it by dabbing gently with your fingers or a makeup sponge. Dragging the product on the skin back and forth is not recommended, as it can give you less coverage.

TIP: Avoid applying the concealer too close to the lash line to prevent your eyes from looking smaller.

Use a small brush to apply the concealer directly on the spot for blemishes.

Then, blend it by dabbing gently on the product.

You can also use a concealer to highlight specific areas of your face, like under the eyes area or the center of the forehead, as you can see in the picture below.

To do this, choose a concealer one or two shades lighter than your skin tone.

Apply it to the areas that you want to highlight and blend it by tapping gently. You can use a small contour brush or a makeup sponge.

contour and highlight placement

Highlighting requires a lot of blending, so take your time and keep blending until there are no harsh lines.

TIP: Mix your concealer with moisturizer to thin out any thick concealer.

What To Do After Applying Concealer?

What To Do After Applying Concealer

After applying concealer, you can follow the rest of your makeup routine.

You can apply translucent powder to set your concealer and brighten your under-eye area.

If you have oily skin, apply some setting powder to your T-zone area.

After that, you can apply your bronzer, blush, and highlight.

For the eyes, you can apply some eyeshadow primer and then your favorite eyeshadows.

To create a smokey eye look, it’s better to start with eye makeup first to avoid any fallout.

You can apply a lip balm, your favorite lipstick, or lip gloss to the lips.

And finally, you can also spritz some setting spray to help your makeup last longer.

Using a setting spray is unnecessary, but it can help eliminate any powder finish and prolong the wear of your makeup.

There are different setting sprays, so choose one that works best for your skin type.

A setting spray with a matte finish can help to control oil and shine, while a setting spray with a dewy finish can help to add some glow to the skin.

In What Order Do You Apply Makeup?

in what order to apply makeup

The order in which you apply your makeup products can make a big difference in the final result.

Primer is always the first step, followed by foundation or BB cream.

If you need more coverage, apply concealer after foundation, giving you a more natural look and helping avoid creasing.

So primer first, foundation, and then concealer is the best order of application for these three products.

However, there are always exceptions to the rule. If you want to do some touch-ups during the day, you can apply primer on top of the foundation to smooth any textured areas.

Many makeup artists use this trick to achieve a flawless complexion.

Many smoothing primers have a thin texture that can perform well over makeup.

It is essential to use a small amount of product and blend it well, so it doesn’t look cakey.


Now that you know how to apply primer, foundation, and concealer like a pro, you’re one step closer to achieving that flawless complexion.

Remember to start with a good skincare routine, choose the right products for your skin type, and take your time when blending.

With some practice, you’ll be a makeup expert in no time!

I hope you found this article helpful. If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment.

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Claire is a beauty enthusiast and lover of all things makeup. Her blog is a resource for makeup tips and tricks, product reviews and beauty tutorials.

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